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Peace n' Love to everyone on the net!

A QUICK GUIDE ON HOW TO ATTAIN INNER PEACE

Unfortnately, there's no real "quick way" to attain inner peace, you must find it throughout life's hardships and suffering.

Remember that the happiest life lived is one without an attachment to the eight worldly concerns. But what are these eight worldly concerns you ask? It's okay to not know. These are part of the "Dharma" or what is known as the religious and moral law governing individual conduct and is one of the four ends of life.

Now, you may not consider yourself much of a "spiritual" person but I believe it is important to have at least some form of connection to Mother Earth, be it spiritual or natural; physical or mental.
A good resource for more information can be found at www.viewonbuddhism.org

The Eight Worldly Concerns

The Eight Worldly Concerns yoke us to "samsara", or rather, the endless cycle of suffering. These Eight Concerns are from the Indian philosopher Nagarjuna, with comments by Buddhist teacher Judy Lief

1 & 2: Happiness vs. Suffering

Once we have happiness, fear arises, for we are afraid to lose it. When suffering arises, no amount of wishful thinking makes it go away. The more we hope for it to be otherwise, the more pain we feel.

3 & 4: Fame vs. Insignificance

We are obsessed with fame and afraid of our own insignificance. When it dawns on us how hard we need to work to be seen as someone special, our fear of insignificance is only magnified.

5 & 6: Praise vs. Blame

We need to be pumped up constantly or we begin to have doubts about our worth. When we are not searching for praise, we are busy trying to cover up our mistakes so we don’t get caught.

7 & 8: Gain vs. Loss

Just as we are about to congratulate ourselves on our success, the bottom falls out. Over and over, things are hopeful one moment and the next they are not, and in either case we are anxious.

- from www.lionsroar.com


We have to learn to look past these aspects of life, as unlike the good Dharma which is ourselves finding out how we work, the eight worldly dharmas are practically the buildings blocks for a painful cycle of addiction, cravings and attachment to things.

Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche of the Kopan Monastery in Nepal (1978) spoke that if the desire clinging to the pleasure of this life is renounced, there is great peace in our mind and we don’t accumulate negative karma. (Karma, of course, being the result of a person's actions as well as the actions themselves, which I will go into in the next table cell.)

Rinpoche taught that to not be attached to receiving material things is the best attainment. When we are attached to things and seek them out, they are very hard to find. Yet, if we renounce attachment, material things will come naturally.

Not desiring a reputation is the best reputation. People can spend millions of dollars trying to buy their way into a reputation and get nowhere, but if we look to the great yogi Milarepa, Lama Tsongkhapa and Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, all of these people were regarded in the highest aspect, and offerings were made just at the mere sight of their names. They acquired a good reputation by renouncing attachment to their reputation. Sometimes the best "popularity" is what society will percieve to be "no popularity".

Guru Shakyamuni Buddha said (in the Sutra teachings) that if we wish for all happiness and renounce all our attachment, we will achieve the supreme happiness of enlightenment. As long as we follow attachment, we are never satisfied.

KARMA

I'd like to mention Karma as well, as I bought up in the previous cell, and how Karma is the result of a person's actions as well as the actions themselves. It's essentially the universal principal of cause and effect. Our actions, both good and bad, come back to us in the future, helping us to learn from life’s lessons and become better people. It is best described in the following quote.

"I say kind words to you, and you feel peaceful and happy. I say harsh words to you, and you become ruffled and upset. The kindness and the harshness will return to me, through others, at a later time. Finally, what I give is what I get back."

Karma provides us with the major motivation to live a moral life, free of evil. If we practice and uphold Karma, good things will come back to us.

OM MANI PADME HUM

You may have heard of this before. Om Mani Padre Hum means "Praise to the Jewel in the Lotus". This might not make much sense but the chant itself is powerful. It is the essence of good Dharma.
The chant itself may seem simple, but the benefits are incredible. When an individual who recites ten malas (or chants) a day goes swimming, whether in a river, an ocean or some other body of water, the water that touches that person’s body gets blessed. It is also mentioned that by reciting this mantra, you achieve the "Four Qualities" of being reborn. Pure land and other pure lands; at the time of death, seeing the higher power (and lights appearing in the sky); the devas (celestial beings) making you offerings; and never being reborn in the hell, hungry ghost or animals realms.

It is said that up to seven generations of that person’s descendents won’t get reborn in the lower realms. When you walk down a road and the wind touches your body and then goes on to touch insects, their negative karma gets purified and causes them to have a good rebirth. Anyone who swims in the same body of water as the one individual who recites this mantra will also be blessed.

A simple chant can have a lot of power behind it. If you feel negativity in your life, simply repeat this mantra, channeling purification of your soul (or self).

Side Note:

In places such as Tibet, Nepal, India and Ladakh, there’s a well-established tradition of doing the Compassion Buddha retreat and reciting 100 million OM MANI PADME HUM mantras.